Unlock the talent inside

Since 1962 the Koestler Awards have played a unique, national role in motivating prisoners, secure hospital patients and immigration detainees to take part in the arts. The Koestler Awards are simple and powerful – we reward achievement, build self-confidence and broaden horizons for some of society’s most disadvantaged and marginalised people.

Our work harnesses the uniquely transformative power of the arts to help individuals learn the skills and gain the confidence to live creative, positive and productive lives. Each year we receive more than 7,000 entries from over 3,500 entrants across the UK in 52 categories. More than 2,000 Awards are granted by over 100 esteemed judges, and each year culminates in a curated exhibition at Southbank Centre which showcases the incredible power of the arts to transform lives.

Read more about us

Discombobulated, Heatherwood Court Hospital, Mixed Media, 2016

2017 Awards

The deadline for the 2017 Koestler Awards was 14 April.

The 2017 Awards include 51 categories judged by experts including Bob and Roberta Smith, Emma Bridgewater, Philharmonia Chorus and Hot Chip. The Awards are now closed for entries, and the judging process is underway. If you are Under 18 you can still take part at any point in the year through our Fast Feedback Programme.

What happens next?

We publish a list of Award-winners at the end of August and all certificates and Awards prizes will be mailed by the end of October. We will return visual entries not selected for exhibition from November 2017.

Find out more about this year’s exhibitions here.

> download the 2017 Koestler Awards Entry Form
> download the 2017 Guidance Notes

If you’d like to receive the 2018 entry packs (released in December 2017) please contact us on info@koestlertrust.org.uk


Discombobulated, Heatherwood Court Hospital, Mixed Media, 2016

Discombobulated, Heatherwood Court Hospital, Mixed Media, 2016